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Sustainable Fencing Options

Fencing materials can be expensive and often not so naturally produced. A lot of fencing has been treated with chemicals and may come from overly harvested sources.

Sustainable products and recycled resources can be used to make spectacular fencing.

Some materials that make durable, eco friendly fences include bamboo, however ensure that it is purchased from a reputable source as some on the market may not be sustainably gathered. The Forest Stewardship Council certifies woods that are ecologically manufactured.

Old wood that has been salvaged can be a good option to purchasing new wood for fencing. Reclaimed wood fences will likely require a finishing treatment in order to preserve them. If preferred, instead of chemicals, oils like linseed or tung can be applied as needed to moisten and help protect the fence.

As an alternative to processed woods, composite blends, which are a mixture of organic fibers and recycled materials, can be made to take on a wood-like appearance, as well as other textures. These do not usually contain preservatives and are virtually maintenance free, aside from normal cleaning.

Fencing made from recycled plastic can be ideal, as it uses up already produced, non-biodegradable products. However, it may be difficult to find out what percentage is actually made from recycled product. Plastic can also react to the outdoor environment, causing the color to weaken and the fence may actually lose its shape over time, depending on the weather.

If you would like some of the privacy that a fence offers but don’t like the structure of an actual railing, think about native hedges or other trainable bushes, which can be grown and shaped. These offer a more natural design and usually only need periodic trimming.

The design of a fence should be considered, too. Fences provide a needed boundary, but can also be designed with a double duty function in mind. For example, cavity wall designs use double walls and are built with clay blocks that are hollow in order to allow a constant air flow. Clay walls stay fairly cool and absorb moisture well. This type of barrier works well for areas that are prone to high winds and heavy rains.

If you need to section off a smaller area or corner lot, galvanized steel mesh can be formed and packed with items like recycled glass or other materials to form a gabion wall. These structures naturally drain and can be filled with various objects.

This design, featured below in a recycled glass feature wall, can add a presentational aspect to an ordinary fence.

For tons of images of fencing designs, look at Home Improvement Pages for project ideas that can be pinned to an inspiration board. Many of the fencing concepts featured could be produced using recycled and reclaimed materials.

Image Source: 123RF Stock Photos

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